The Disorienting Express

Chatterbox: Pudding's Place

The Disorienting Express

The Disorienting Express – The Return of RMS Tiny

You drink the last dregs of your tea, and then hand the teacup back to the fortuneteller. Her head bobs, and her frizzy red hair shakes as she examines the tea leaves. Suddenly, she gasps, and the cup drops from her fingers and SMASH!, breaks against the floor. "My best antique teacup! No! This is a calamity!"

You look at her, confused. "What did you see in my future that was so shocking?"

Her lips shook. "An invitation. An exclusive invitation, to any Cber who happens to recieve it, from The Ominous, that strange, hoodied captain of the RMS Tiny and the RMS Humbug, whose past adventures with CBers were chronicled here: "

"What's so shocking about that?"

"Well, I've heard of the RMS Tiny, and the story I heard had THE END at the end of it, so I thought that was the end of it all. Not to mention that sequels are often never as good as the original, and the story ended with The Ominous trying to dig the RMS Tiny out of the middle of a desert! Now that's what I call writing yourself into a corner!"

"Hmm. Perhaps they had a sledgehammer on them, and they escaped through the fourth wall."

The fortuneteller frowns for a moment, and then nods. "I suppose that's possible. Do you want to hear what the invitation will be?"

"Yes please."

"The adventure of a lifetime! Boundless fun! An express ride to anti-polar regions, aboard a ship aboard a train, surrounded by the most colourful of characters! You are hereby invited to the first railway passage from the Sahara to a handy mountain range (the location of which we cannot divulge at this time), and you'll have lots of fun!"

*  *  *

You leave the fortuneteller's tent, and go home. On your doorstep is a large package, wrapped in brown paper and tied with red and white striped string with purple fuzzy bits. You rip open the paper, and a puff of dark brown powder explodes in your face, permeating the air with a chocolatey flavour. Your eyes sting with the bitterness of the pure cocoa.

We would like to take a moment to thank our sponsors, the makers of pure, high-octane cocoa, made from fresh nyad springs on the plains of Latteland. Their only purpose in life is to make your day better – wait, nevermind, sorry, actually their only purpose in life is to make some money. And find enlightenment.

By your feet there is now a pile of cocoa powder, and in the middle of it lies a letter. You pick up, open it, and read the letter:

Dear CBer, the ticket enclosed in this letter will grant you passage aboard the last 13 coaches of the Disorienting Express, the train that will carry my dear ship, the RMS Tiny, on my journey to repair her. It is my wish that you would come along with me, as I believe CBers like adventures, and adventure seems to follow me everywhere. I give you my word, as a slightly shady individual who likes to lurk in alleyways waiting for my morning coffee to be delivered by vampire bat, that I will not let any of you murder each other, and the most dubious and sinister people of my acquaintance are not invited. Should they arrive, I'm sure your abilities of deducton will be able to be well used in apprehending them, as doubtless they will leave clues to their actions. Of course, if you accuse someone who is innocent, the actual murderer will likely choose you as their next target.

Anyways, here's some more words to convince you to come, thanks to my advertising agents, the Fortunetellers of Aura Alley: The adventure of a lifetime! Boundless fun! An express ride to anti-polar regions, aboard a ship aboard a train, surrounded by the most colourful of characters! You are hereby invited to the first railway passage from the Sahara to a handy mountain range (the location of which we cannot divulge at this time), and you'll have lots of fun!

- The Ominous

A NOTE: This is a murder mystery inspired by T.O.N's Ski Lodge and its various spin-offs, and it's sort of a continuation of the story of The Ominous and RMS Tiny detailed in the link above. However, for this we've changed some things about how it works so it's a bit more game-like, inspired (of course) by Clue.

A roll of the Die of Doom will determine how many people are killed each day, and their names will be drawn from Pandora's Fedora. The first death will occur on the third day.

All of you are innocent (at least as innocent as you can be, being yourselves), and you need to work together to discover which of the non-CBer characters aboard the Disorienting Express is the murderer.

Starting on the third day, there will be a few codes (think morse, first-letter codes, Sebald code, number codes) hidden (or not-so-hidden) in each day. The first person to find and decode each code will be granted, according to the Die of Doom, either immunity from death the next day or a clue in the form of a story snippet. Obviously, clues are given to everyone, while immunity is person-specific.

If you think you know who the murderer is, post your guess and tell us that it's an in-story accusation (we really want your input/interaction, so don't worry about us mistaking suspicious musings for in-story accusations, we'll double-check with you before making story-you accuse anyone). In the next day, the results of your confronting and accusing your suspect will occur. A Warning: Accusations of innocents will make the murder worry about your suspicions, and you will likely die (immunity will not necessarily help you here). However, accussations of innocents are still helpful because you now know the one you accused is innocent. Also, ghosts can totally help the other CBers guess and point out clues or codes they spot – and if they get immunity by spotting things, they can give it to someone who's alive.

The Disorienting Express starts its journey on January 20th. Sign up with a quote that you could be heard saying, and your packing list if you so wish. Any latecomers will be forced to walk.

Any complaints should be directed to The Ominous's editor and secretary, who will direct the complaints to John F.Q. and Pied Piper, along with all the other rubbish they send them.

*  *  *

You sneeze cocoa powder from your nose, and wonder if it's wise to trust this Ominous person. Will you accept the invitation? And if you do, how will you find this train? You wonder, and then a question mark falls on your head.

Then a comma hits the sidewalk, and you look up at the sudden rain of punctuation. A bracket and a quotation mark land in the cocoa powder, sending up a huge cloud of powder that seems tinted green in the sudden strange light. And then the King and Queen of punctuation, the interrobang & the ampersand arrive‽

Resplendent in their inky black armour and spiky crowns of accent marks, their presence announced by exclamation marks blaring trumpets, they walk towards you. The King waves, his infinity-sign moustache looking glorious. The Queen holds up her sceptre, mounted with a shining asterisk. They stop before you, and the King clears his throat.

A moment of silence.

The King coughs again, pointedly, and then two small tuxedo-wearing, upwards-pointing arrows run forward. The Shift keys. They carry a large suitcase that is a beautiful shining black - but not a boring black, this is the kind of black that galaxies are born in, the colour of a raven's feather, or of letterpress ink, holding all the possibilities of every written word. The King and Queen lift it from the hands of the Shift keys, which cling to it for a moment before dropping to the ground with small squeaks of dismay.

"Without hesitation, deprivation, aggravation, or mortification, we present you with this gift. Use it well." They pass the suitcase to you, and you stare at it for a moment. A hush falls over – or rather, into – the crowd (Aaaaah! THUMP! "sorry, sorry, shhh.")

With trembling hands, you lift the lid, and inside lies . . . your favourite pair of socks, folded perfectly. Beneath it a bunch of your other clothes are packed, and all sorts of travelling supplies.

"Oh yes – and I made you a nice warm drink." The King passes you a large thermos, and then blows his nose into his handkerchief. "We'll miss you, dear!"

The Queen pats your shoulder. "You're ready now, off you go. Goodbye, good luck, and have fun!"

submitted by The Ominous, age unknown, stranded in the desert
(January 6, 2018 - 6:28 pm)

Wow, that was great! Super entertaining to read. Chaotic is a perfect term for it- in a good way!

submitted by Quill
(January 22, 2018 - 3:25 pm)

Ooh, I like it! It is chaotic, like Quill said, but what would be a good Ski Lodge -any story for that matter!- without a healthy dose of chaos? Especially something having to do with the CB. We're always chaotic ;D

submitted by Vyolette
(January 22, 2018 - 5:42 pm)

Nice! I love the shrieking bit. Warning kids, sunstroke hurts. SERIOUSLY. I hate it. Uh-oh, I feel a heat-induced/sunlight made headache coming on. 

I like how I explode. BOOM!

But no seriously I'm never going into that suitcase ever agin. Really Frederic, WHY DID YOU HOG THE LITERAL ONLY BATHROOM. And Pepper, why did you bribe the guy to make ONLY ONE BATHROOM. Ew, Pepper. Also Frederic, you literally have a litterbox. A literal litterbox! 

Ew Chinchilla. Why did you have to bring that up? I mean, some of us actually went to the bathroom before going into the unreliable suitcase with only one tiny bathroom. Also, I didn't bribe the guy for only one bathroom, I bribed him for at least three, I HATE line-ups, but then a guy with lots of gold teeth bribed him for more. 

Hey, some of us actually hate a bathroom that is literally three feet wide.

Hey, some of us like to make trouble.


Okay, other pet peeve, Pepper hogged the bedroom. I mean, how much sleep does an AE need?

A lot, for your information. I need my trouble-making-energy-saving-beuty sleep.

submitted by Chinchilla
(January 22, 2018 - 6:00 pm)

As I have now learned, 21st Century journalists do not take it very easy when you bop out of a newspaper in the middle of a press conference about some controversy or another. I really should have known better. First of all, most eras in the past or even the future will accept someone bouncing out of a printed page, but darn it all, people in the 2010s are both not superstitious enough and not scientific enough to accept it now.

Of course, I thought I could get away with it until some blonde photographer decided that someone time & space traveling would make a much better story than whatever issue they were yelling about this time. And that's how I was blinded by flash photography for the first time.

"Ouch!" I said, covering my eyes and dropping my suitcase on my big toe, causing the breaking clasp to snap open. "What on earth?" 

Of course, now they wanted explanations for how I had suddenly appeared in the middle of the room out of nowhere, therefore I figured I had better beat it before my opening to The Disorienting Express disappeared. So I picked up my suitcase and hightailed it for the nearest exit, looking pretty much like a disorienting express myself as I blindly stumble-ran towards the nearest open window, nearly falling over myself.

I internally thanked my lucky stars that Tina had decided to fly to the train alone, as she would surely think that all these people were here to admire her and slow me down considerably.

It would take the journalists a few seconds before they would decide to chase me, so I made a split-second decision and heaved the case towards the window, but due to my blindness, it bounced off, fell onto the floor, and clicked open.

Oh no

The case shook, then did a little shimmy, then with a loud BANG my socks came flying out of the case and landed all over the room. My Nifflers came swarming out, scurrying all over the floor to relieve the reporters of their various shiny valuables. 

"NO!" I exclaimed loudly, but then came to my senses and grabbed my lightsaber/slingshot/wand. "ACCIO SOCKS!" I screamed, then held up my suitcase as they flew towards me. They landed in a messy pile, one that would have made whoever packed my suitcase for the train considerably distressed. No time for organization, however. I twirled my wand and took a deep breath. "ACCIO LUDWIG, VAN, BEETHOVEN, JOHANN, SEBASTIAN, BACH, JOHN, WILLIAMS, JAMES, NEWTON, HOWARD, HANS, ZIMMER, PYOTR, ILYCH, TCHAIKOVSKY, BILL!"

My seventeen Nifflers looked at each other for a second and then began drifting towards me, as various watches and earrings flew out of their pouches. With a stern glance (I didn't have nearly enough time to ask why they were in there) I directed them towards my suitcase and then ignited my lightsaber. The reporters stared at me in stunned silence, which, to be frank, I found a little awkward. 

"Lovely meeting you," I said. "Now, I really must be going."

And with that, I slashed through the brick wall, had my case appear in my hand, and jumped through the hole I had created. 

And they began yelling again.

I realized a second too late that I ought to have repaired the wall so that they would have had to find a long way around, but when I had finally got the chance to shoot a 'Reparo' spell behind me, many of the journalists were running behind me, determined to follow this lead until I gave them a story. I hated to disappoint a bunch of newshounds, but I had my own schedule, and the only chance I would have to follow it would open in 30 seconds and close exactly 45 seconds from now.This I knew because I was still holding a lady's wristwatch (one of the most peculiar inventions ever, I admit) that was showing me the exact time.

Rounding the corner, I came upon a cinema (one of the delights of this century is that there is no shortage of them) and spotting a sign for a film that was being taken down that had a ragged newspaper clipping on the front, I knew that this was my stop. The reporters were almost a full block behind me and I had very little time. Grabbing my ticket, I swiped it around the newspaper, which was titled The Daily Punctuation.

The headline, I thought, was very peculiar, reminiscent of a book title which I'm sure was in my suitcase SOMEWHERE, underneath all the maps and postcards and above the Nifflers.  

How odd, I thought, but there wasn't any time as the reporters rounded the corner, hurling notebooks and iPads, which silently made me wince at the stupidity of some people. I swiped my ticket even faster, then stuck the tip of my wand through the movie poster and jumped. 

It was, altogether, one of my more splendid jumps since I was called to be one of Gutenberg's Printed Realm Irregulars (some little street urchin who was apart of us was also a Baker Street Irregular, which was how we got the idea for the name), until I found that someone had closed my exit to where I wanted to go. My reaction was honestly, shock. This was ridiculous and completely inconvenient. Is this really the third time I had ended up on the advertisements for auto insurance page? Good gracious, it seemed the only way to properly do this was to land on the front page or on the crime or sports sections. I began banging my suitcase around, to the squeaked and muffled protests to the Nifflers inside. Finally, I gave up and sighed. This was one of the more messy situations to be in. The only way to escape was to make a very precise lightsaber cut in the print to eject myself, which was completely impractical to begin with, as I would incinerate the paper and get rid of my only way out. I could only hope that someone would open my newspaper again, otherwise, I would be stuck here and possibly miss my train. 

In the meantime, I snapped open my case a smidge and fixed a glare down the crack. 

"You weren't supposed to come!" I said, frowning. "I wonder who packed you?" 

But I never got to find out, because at that moment, a portal appeared and I fell onto the floor of the Disorienting Express...


submitted by Brooklyn Newsie
(January 23, 2018 - 11:19 am)

Stupendous, stunning, and superb! Thank you, we loved reading it! Especially the names of your Nifflers and the Baker Street Irregulars. We're also curious about the book title that the headline reminds you of (are we being forgetful or did we reference something by accident? It's happened before...)

submitted by The Ominous, age unknown, nowhere
(January 28, 2018 - 10:04 pm)

Magnificent. I love it. And I do burst into maniacal laughter more often than you would think.

submitted by Leafpool, age Finite, This side of reality
(January 23, 2018 - 12:05 pm)



I mean, gee, you do? What a rare and fascinating quality! 

submitted by Chinchilla
(January 23, 2018 - 8:11 pm)


submitted by Leafpool, age Finite, This side of reality
(January 24, 2018 - 10:58 am)


submitted by top!
(January 24, 2018 - 2:22 pm)


submitted by Top, age Top, Top
(January 24, 2018 - 8:10 pm)

I really would like to join!!! If it's too late, that's understandable. I only found out about it today, though. If it's not too late, however, here are some things about my character:

Likes: Almost anything that doesn't result in searing pain, and extreme discomfort.

Dislikes: Things that result in searing pain, and extreme discomfort. 

Description: A boy with black rectangle glasses, long-ish brown hair, wearing a dark blue overcoat, (open) with a light blue shirt inside with a creeper face on it, (minecraft) very dark blue jeans, and black sneakers.

Catch Phrase: "What? I have a catch phrase now??"

*Ahem* Sentence that he is known by: "Dude, that's the same thing."


"This,...*sigh*...Nevermind. This isn't going to work, narrator person. Why don't YOU come up with something, huh?"

Because I have the same IQ as you, that's why.

"Fine, whatever. Okay, then. I hopefully will get a train ticket!" . . . . . .Sereously??? MinecraftKid, SEREOUSLY??? THAT WAS THE WORST JOKE EVER TOLD!!!!........

"Somebody please help this guy. He is insane." I HEARD THAT YOU LITTLE-

submitted by MinecraftKid, age 12, Planet Earth
(January 24, 2018 - 8:20 pm)

HAHAHAHAHAHA! *Continues in laughter* OOOOOH I LOVED THAT! HEY IS THAT YOUR AE... IS... uh....aheh... *Trails off when realizes that everybody is looking at her weirdly*

Uh.... I mean....

 Erm.... is that yer AE? (Alter Ego: Means annoying, pointless-)



Actually, the correct term is "Read" and "Wrote", not 'heard' and 'said'. Just a small correction on my part.

Be quiet Notes, didn't you hear what she said?

READ WHAT SHE SAID. *Ahem* Yes, I did read what she wrote, PEPPER.

So why aren't you ridiculously offended like I am? I mean, actual sef-control on the part of an AE is disgraceful!

Because obviously she was refering to you. *Smirks* 

Uh.... yeah, that's what AEs are, probably you already knew that.  How would YOU know if he knew that? Becuase it is polite to assume that the other person you are conversing with knows everything and is all-present. Not that you would know that, Pepper.

She knows he knows you know she knows she also knows you don't know.... *Waggles eyebrows* 

What? Nothing..... hehehe..... 

UGH whatever, this post is already out of control. Okay, pretty sure you can join, MinecraftKid. Or Minekid. Or whatever short-term name you want. 

submitted by Chinchilla
(January 25, 2018 - 3:52 pm)


submitted by Top, age Top, Top
(January 26, 2018 - 8:06 pm)

Hey everyone, sorry for not posting this week - twas the Dreaded Week of Days of DOOM (otherwise known as exams). The next few days are a bit busy for us (more exams...) but we're working on Day 1, and in the meantime, here's a minisode. It either gives a bit of character background and lots of foreshadowing, or it's just random nonsense - your choice!

*  *  *

Minisode 1 - Anxious Clowns Who Say Ni

In the council meeting room of the Ridiculous Management of Seagoers Co., the board members sat. Pristine, straight-backed, staring forward, waiting for the fellow who had called the meeting to bring it to order. Lit by a shard of light coming down from the single window above, the Chairman of RMS Co. sat in the largest swivelly chair.

He reached up and brushed a strand of bright orange hair out of his eyes. “I have brought you all here to decide the fate of one of our employees.” He stopped, looking down, “- is that a speck of dust?”

One of the regional managers' face blanched. He leapt from his chair and ran to the Chairman's side. “Uh ... y-yes, sir.” He bent down to brush it off the oversized, red-and-white shoe of the Chairman, and his red nose fell off.

The regional manager looked terrified. The Chairman grinned.

“No need to look like that, my dear, it's just a speck of dust! Here, have a balloon giraffe, I think it's about time you had a pay raise, and cheer up!” The Chairman pulled out a balloon, expertly blew it up, and with a series of short squeaks turned it into a clever-looking giraffe, complete with a ninja mask. The regional manager accepted the balloon giraffe, bowed gratefully, and skipped back to his chair, chuckling.

The Chairman leaned back in his swivelly chair, bounced a few times, and swung his colourfully pinstriped legs up onto the table. “To business!” Around the table, everyone whipped out clipboards, colouring pages, and crayons, and many brightly-wigged heads bent over their notes.

The Chairman continued, “The employee in question is, of course, The Ominous. That strange hoodied individual who kindly offered his ship to our company in return for being paid as a premium employee, and not being required to wear our usual naval uniform consisting of the traditional pink wig, long baby blue shoes, and oversized striped overalls emblazoned with the emblem of a ship sinking. The reasons I bring your attention to are firstly: failing to protect those aboard his ship, secondly: installing ridiculous employees with no sense of style – as you know, it is our policy to staff our ships with only the best circus people, acrobats, or Transylvanian tap-dancers, and thirdly: when his ship was wrecked, he did not cry tears of pure sugar. The fact that this was anatomically impossible does not excuse him. And then, after he had failed to do this traditional homage to his fallen ship, instead of reporting immediately back to us, he turned her insides into 13 train coaches, loaded her empty shell on one of those coaches, and is currently on a journey to repair her – a job that should be left only to our experts.”

A shape fell past the single window, screaming. The Chairman turned to look. “Ah yes, that's one of our experts there.” He turned back to the table. “Anyways, on to a vote. All those in favour of firing The Ominous, say Ye. All those not in favour, say Ni.”

There was a chorus of unintelligible 'ee' sounds, followed by no-one raising their hands. The Chairman looked around. “Does someone have an objection?”

“I do,” said a squeaky voice from the far end of the table, “I think we should put him on probation instead of firing him, we should give him a chance. If he can return by a certain date with the ship and it's Improbability Drive intact, then he deserves to stay on as an employee and keep his Improbability Drive.”

The Chairman frowned at the mention of an Improbability Drive – he'd heard nothing of this before, but if he had, taking it (for the company's good, of course) was exactly the sort of thing he'd have thought of. “Very well then, Remi Spices, we shall give him a second chance and put him on probation. Let us come up with a date and send it to The Ominous immediately.”

But then, from a shadowy corner of the table, face obscured by a floppy jester's hat – with bells – someone sat forward and said, “If I may interject, sir.”

The Chairman turned in surprise, and then quickly recovered. “You may. I trust your counsel, Gester M. Norn.”

Gester M. Norn smiled a shadowy smile, and said, “I think The Ominous's fate should be different, sir. He seems far too . . . irresponsible to own an Improbability Drive. The fact that he invented it himself makes it even worse. As such, the Improbability Drive should be confiscated no matter what – for the company's good, of course – and his timeliness should only determine whether you keep him on as an employee or not. That is, sir, if you agree.”

Across the table, Remi Spices' eyes narrowed. Was it just her, or did that man have six fingers on his right hand? This was all very suspicious.

The Chairman thought for a moment, and then said, “That sounds like a capital idea! I don't what sort of flim-flam idea it was to let such a silly man keep something so important as an Improbability Drive! Why, whoever came up with the idea should be fired!” He laughed. “Just my little joke! I don't even know why we were discussing the matter – this isn't a democracy, after all!”

He chuckled again, and then turned. “Duney Mops, you are in charge of the calendar – come up with a date for The Ominous to return with his ship repaired or else he'll be fired.” He rubbed his hands together, grinning like a clown. “That will also be the date we put the Improbability Drive into better hands.”

At this, Remi Spices furrowed her brow, dubious of the Chairman's definition of “better hands”.

The Chairman continued, “And you, Nate G., find me a map of the course The Ominous will be taking, so we can provide him with the date in the right time zone. Oh, and please refrain from switching noses during the meeting, Sigus Ide – it's unsightly!” He sat back down, and spent the rest of the meeting twisting balloon flamingos.


*  *  *

NOTE: Seeing as we said people could join until we posted Day 1, and we have actually only posted Day 0 and a minisode so far, we should stay true to our word! So we'll fit you in, MineCraftKid.

submitted by The Ominous, age unknown, not at RMS Co.
(January 28, 2018 - 8:42 pm)

Huh, clowns! Wow I'm literally the worst fan of them(Jesus christ they're creepy) But its some neato background for Ominous! Can't wait for the next part.

submitted by Danie
(January 29, 2018 - 12:00 am)